It is no secret that divorce can be an expensive experience, and the legal costs involved in divorce are a part of that. It may be tempting for many people to do some research and try to navigate the divorce process without the help of an experienced Florida divorce lawyer. While everyone has the right to represent themselves in court should they choose to do so, doing so may actually end up costing you more in the long run.
There are a number of different reasons why trying to represent yourself during divorce can be a bad idea. Some of the common pitfalls of taking this approach are discussed below.
Many Other Areas of Law are Often at Play
Often, Florida divorce statutes are not the only ones that are at play in a particular divorce. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce and the route you have chosen to take, you may need to wrestle with financial regulations or even nuanced evidence rules. It is important to be prepared for the legal demands that could arise in your divorce but anticipating them on your own is not always easy, especially if you have never gone through the experience before. It is hard to have a good understanding of what you need to know when you may not be aware of what that is.
An experienced Florida divorce lawyer understands that every marriage is unique, and so is every divorce. That is why taking a thorough approach to exploring all of your legal options is an important part of approaching divorce in a positive and productive manner.
Tax Liability is Often Overlooked
One of the most common issues with navigating divorce without the help of an experienced Florida divorce attorney is underestimating the potential tax consequences that may impact you immediately after divorce or many years down the line. Overlooking important details, laws, and regulations regarding potential state and federal tax liability related to your divorce can cost you a great deal of money down the line. This is especially true when it comes to retirement assets, investments, or even the sale of various properties that could be involved in your divorce.
An experienced divorce attorney can work with your spouse and his or her attorney to help create a fair and equitable settlement that complies with various laws but also takes into considerations important present and future tax issues that may arise.
Mistakes can be Costly
Taxes and assets are not the only place where approaching divorce on your own can end up costing you. Not having a firm understanding of how the law treats a certain right can also be a costly mistake during a divorce. Fixing these mistakes can require an extended period of time which may prolong the divorce and result in you paying additional court-related costs, and fixing them after a divorce has been finalized can be very costly.
Depending on the circumstances, there may even be some mistakes that you cannot fix. Even overlooking the slightest detail can mean waiving important rights, and that can be costly. There are also some circumstances in which mistakes or oversights could lead to potentially serious consequences for you, like contempt or other possible criminal charges.
Generic Forms do Not Always Work
Much like other important documents that may be a part of your marriage, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, generic divorce forms that you might find online or at the store do not always work. They are created to be applied to a wide range of people, which means that they likely do not take the intricate details of your particular divorce into consideration.
That is why an experienced Florida divorce attorney understands that taking a thorough and dynamic approach to your divorce is an important part of navigating the legal process. While no two divorces are alike and no one approach will work for everyone, having a lawyer who works with individuals to understand their needs and goals throughout the divorce process as well as to help them understand more about their rights is important for anyone facing the challenges of divorce.